Summary: Discipleship requires surrendering our being.
PRESENTING OUR BODIES
Avery Willis shared that God intends for the body to perform these essential functions:
1. Identification in the world – the way you look.
2. Participation in the world – the way you act.
3. Communication with others – the way you relate with others.
God created the physical body to be good, but when people sinned, the body was affected. It becomes susceptible to the sinful nature. We begin to use our body for sinful pleasures and purposes. But when we repent from our sins and put our faith in Christ and what He had done for us, we have the responsibility to yield our bodies to Christ for God’s glory.
This verse says that we should offer our bodies as sacrifices to God. Why should we offer our bodies to God?
1. “In view of God’s mercy” - Mercy denotes God’s character that moves him to deliver man from sinfulness and misery. (SEE EPHESIANS 2:4; TITUS 3:5) It became the leverage for the appeal that follows. Note that the heathen offer sacrifices in order to obtain mercy but biblical faith teaches that the divine mercy provides the basis for sacrifices.
Therefore offering our sacrifices is our way of responding to God’s mercy and deliverance. It is the right response to all that God had done for us.
2. “This is your spiritual act of worship” – The purpose of sacrifices is not to achieve God’s forgiveness as in the OT but as an expression of worship and service to God. The phrase used in NKJV is “reasonable service” because the Greek word used is that of ‘logikos’ which means rational and reasonable.
Therefore offering our bodies is our rational and reasonable service and expression of worship to God. Worship is not just an offering of praise and the lifting of hands but the giving of our lives to God.
“To offer our bodies” – Greek was prone to think that the body is the receptacle containing the soul but the Hebrew concept viewed man as a unit. The body is the outward expression of man.
When the Bible says we should offer our bodies, it means that we present our whole being to God as a sacrifice. We are commanded to do it as our way of responding to God’s mercy and our reasonable service to Him.
How should we offer our bodies to God?
“As living sacrifices, holy, and pleasing to God” – Offering of sacrifices was an OT practice and normally through the use of objects (like farm products) or an animal which is killed before the altar. The animals or farm products should be of good quality: firstborn, fat, clean, and without defects.
In like manner, the sacrifices we offer to God should be of good quality: living, holy, and pleasing to God. God expects that we offer sacrifices of high quality. This was emphasized in the OT practice. (SEE MALACHI 1:8-14) God rejected and abhorred the quality of their offerings.
Therefore as we offer our bodies as sacrifices, they should of high quality.
1. It should be a living sacrifice. This sounds contradictory since the term “sacrifice” came from the root word “to kill.” In fact, the effectiveness of an OT animal sacrifice is when it is killed and its blood sprinkled on the worshiper. On the part of the believer, Christ became our sacrificial lamb that took away our sins to the cross and give us new life.
Now our responsibility is to live for God. Our way of life should be an expression of worship to God. The word "living" denotes the spiritual life we received from God in conversion experience. This new life should be lived as an offering to God. (SEE ROMANS 6:12-13)
ILLUSTRATION An organ donor driver becomes a useful instrument of our society when they die.
The Bible says that we should “offer the parts of our body to God as instrument of righteousness.” In the OT, the whole offering ascends to God and could never be reclaimed. It belongs to God forever. In like manner, because of God’s mercy and deliverance, we now belong to God.
He owns us like one of his instruments. (SEE I CORINTHIANS 6:19-20) Righteousness means right behavior, integrity, and uprightness. We lay our body for service to promote God’s righteous will and character. (SEE MATTHEW 5:29-30; JAMES 3:9-10)
The idea of cutting off or gouging out the offending part of our body is a way of saying that Jesus’ disciples must deal radically with sin. Imagination is a God-given gift; but if it is fed with dirt by the eye, it will be dirty. All sin, not least sexual sin, begins with the imagination.